The Mountain's Blood by Lari Don

8/10 An epic movie style story based on an ancient Sumerian myth.

By day, Inanna is an ordinary girl but is called upon to don her battle armour and pick up her huge axe in order to wage war on an enemy, though this doesn't sound like the sort of thing the goddess of love is supposed to do, as she is a very strong woman to go up against an unknown entity. Inanna is loved by all her family among the gods and other goddesses, she has people around her who love her very much, friends and those who worship her like the goddess she is, but one day when she went out riding, she came upon a huge mountain she had never seen before, it was as black as night and belched out thick, black smoke from its peak, annoying her with its obvious disrespect of her land and her people. She hopes once she goes out to talk to it, that the mountain will bow before her and respect her as her subjects have done before, but when the mountain refuses, she returns to heaven and the palace to put on her finest clothes and jewellery thinking the mountain might not have recognised her as the goddess of love. When she goes back to the mountain she finds it recognises her, but still does not bow before her as Inanna, which annoys her even more. She decides to go to the gods for help, the head god, Anu being the favoured one who might lead the rest of them into battle against the mountain. Dressed in her finest clothes, she goes to visit him among all the gods, and he refuses. She feels he is afraid of the mountain and goes alone to try and defeat it.

Lari Don lends a lot of her own girl power attitude to The Mountain's Blood with her character of love goddess Inanna. Inanna has a high opinion of her, and wants everyone to love her and bow to her as the goddess she is, yet that doesn't always happen in the real world. Inanna quickly finds out not every one is ready to bow at her feet. Her brother, Utu shares her feelings about the dangerous mountain, but even he realises that without the help of the other gods, he is powerless. As Inanna is forceful, and an independent sort, she takes all her weapons to battle against it and what happens next will surprise readers. Lari Don's character is larger than life, and just wants to be loved by all, even if her family won't help her fight a stubborn mountain that gets in her way. Though she is ancient, she still looks young, and dazzling in a way the other gods don't, but them leaving her to go it alone creates a new side to her, one she never thought she had. This side is the one who can fight and feel the pain of battle, get the scars, the dirt and the struggle. It is something she has never felt at all - she only knew how to be
beautiful. Lari Don's novels are a pleasure to read as she can write well about characters from the past, like Tam O'Shanter, and readers will hope to see more of her work. The Mountain's Blood is an epic movie style story based on an ancient Sumerian myth, and can be read by children of all ages and even older teens who might be interested in it.

As a bonus to the book, there are two battle cards, one that tells of author Lari Don's interests and favourites, while the other is of Paul Duffield, the illustrator of the novel who brings the character of Inanna to life in his drawings among the text. With these cards it is interesting to see what has influenced the both of them to write and illustrate professionally.

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